Phone

Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Diarrhea, insomnia, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, severe nausea, vomiting, irritability, unusual agitation, tremors. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Mild nausea or jitters.
Less Common

There are no less-common side effects associated with the use of caffeine.
Caffeine


Drug Class:
Central nervous system stimulant

Available OTC?: Yes

Available Generic?: Yes

Vivarin 200 mg
(SmithKline Beecham)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets, extended release capsules

Why Prescribed
To restore mental alertness.

How It Works
Caffeine acts as a stimulant to all levels of the central nervous system.

Range and Frequency
Tablets: 100 to 200 mg; repeat after 3 or 4 hours if needed. Extended-release capsules: 200 to 250 mg; can be repeated after 3 or 4 hours if needed. Citrated caffeine: 65 to 325 mg, 3 times a day as needed. Take no more than 1,000 mg a day.

Onset of Effect
Unknown.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Take it with food to minimize stomach upset.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light. Keep away from moisture and extremes in temperature.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop taking the drug should be made by your doctor.

Prolonged Use
Caffeine is not intended for prolonged use.

Over 60
No special problems are expected.

Driving and Hazardous Work
The use of caffeine should not impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.

Alcohol
No special precautions are necessary.

Pregnancy
Large doses can cause miscarriage, delay the growth of the fetus, or cause problems with the heart rhythm of the fetus. No more than 300 mg of caffeine (the amount in 3 cups of coffee) should be consumed daily during pregnancy.

Breast Feeding
Caffeine passes into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Caffeine is not recommended for use by children under the age of 12.

Special Concerns
To prevent insomnia, do not take caffeine or caffeine-containing beverages too close to bedtime. After you stop taking caffeine, you may experience anxiety, dizziness, headache, irritability, muscle tension, nausea, nervousness, stuffy nose, and unusual fatigue. Consult your doctor if you suffer from any of these symptoms.

Overdose Symptoms
Stomach or abdominal pains, agitation, anxiety, excitement, restlessness, confusion, delirium, seizures. A very large overdose can cause an irregular heartbeat; seeing zig-zag flashes of light; frequent urination; increased sensitivity to touch; muscle twitching; nausea and vomiting, sometimes with blood; insomnia; and ringing in the ears.

What to Do
An overdose of caffeine is unlikely to be life-threatening. However, if someone takes a much larger dose than directed, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center right away.

Drug Interactions
Call your doctor for specific advice if you are taking central nervous system stimulants; MAO inhibitors; amantadine; ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin (antibiotics); cold, sinus, hay fever, or allergy medications; asthma medicine; pemoline; amphetamines; nabilone; methylphenidate; or chlophedianol.

Food Interactions
Do not drink large amounts of caffeine-containing beverages like coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocoa, or chocolate milk.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when taking caffeine. Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: anxiety, panic attacks, heart disease, high blood pressure, agoraphobia (fear of open places), or insomnia. Use of caffeine may cause complications in patients with liver disease, since this organ works to remove the medication from the body.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
Previous  |  Next
> Printer-friendly Version